Dirty Diapers Reveal How Germy Babies’ Microbiomes Are

12:17 minutes

Childcare Concept. Portrait of cute baby wearing bodysuit lying on white beedsheets at home.
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In a new study, researchers picked through the dirty diapers of more than 600 infants. Those stinky diapers were a gold mine of info—they contained more than 10,000 virus species. And though it may sound terrifying, those viruses play a key role in babies’ microbiomes.

Guest host and SciFri producer Kathleen Davis talks with Katherine J. Wu, staff writer at The Atlantic about this story and other science news of the week. They chat about climate change’s influence on the twilight zone, what critters can be found on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a surprising twist in the story of Mars’ moon Deimos, the impressive sleeping habits of elephant seals, and why insects seem to flock to the light when it’s dark out.

Segment Guests

Katherine J. Wu

Katherine Wu is a staff writer at The Atlantic based in Boston, Massachusetts.

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About Rasha Aridi

Rasha Aridi is a producer for Science Friday. She loves stories about weird critters, science adventures, and the intersection of science and history.

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